Author: East Texas Review

Smith County Commissioners Court Calls Bond Election

The Smith County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Monday to call a bond election for November 7, 2017, to give the citizens of Smith County the opportunity to approve or disapprove the issuance of bonds for road and bridge construction and major improvements. If approved, the bond will be issued over a three-year period, in an amount not to exceed $39.5 million. The money received from the bonds will be used to pay for major county road and bridge projects over three years, which, according to commissioners, is Phase I of a six-year Road and Bridge Capital Improvement Project. If approved, the bonds would have a 10-year pay-back period, and are anticipated to be issued as needed in increments of $12 million during the first year, $12 million during the second year and $15.5 million during the third year. The bonds are anticipated to increase the I&S portion of the tax rate by 0.7 cents per $100 valuation. For a home valued at $200,000, this means an increase in property taxes of $14 annually. The average home in Smith County is valued at $165,841, resulting in an increase in property taxes of $11.61 annually. The process of developing a Road and Bridge Capital Improvement Plan began in 2015, when Smith County hired Atkins Engineering to analyze the condition of each road in the county. That study resulted in the identification...

Read More

Business and Community Leaders Convene with Educators at the First Annual Partners in Education Conference

Business and community leaders convene with educators at the first annual Partners In Education (P.I.E.) Conference on August 22, 2017, at LeTourneau University. The Longview Chamber of Commerce is hosting this half-day program comprised of two critical workshops, the first of which is designed to convene business and community leaders with educators. The Chamber has invited Dr. Peter Bishop, Executive Director of Teach the Future, to be the keynote speaker. Dr. bishop believes that students of any age can learn to think critically and creatively about the future and develop collective influencers to catalyze change. The workshop will also include two best practice case studies with Eastman Chemical Company, Texas Operations, and Longview Regional Medical Center’s work-based learning programs. The second workshop is designed specifically for educators. Dr. Peter Bishop has designed an interactive program which provides free teaching materials and support for educators who want to “Teach the Future.” He will spend the afternoon helping educators prepare to incorporate futures thinking into their curriculum. Dr. Bishop shared, “By giving young people the tools to engage with the future early in life, we are equipping them to face uncertainties and challenges and helping them discover their role in shaping the future. Education is meant to prepare students for the future, something we can only do well if we teach the future itself.” The Chamber’s goal is to connect educators...

Read More

AG Paxton Appeals Redistricting Ruling

Attorney General Ken Paxton today initiated an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over the recent redistricting ruling by filing a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court in San Antonio. A panel of the district court decided that two of Texas’ 36 Congressional districts (27 and 35) are unlawful. This ruling effectively prevents Texas from using the same court-adopted maps in 2018 that it has used in each of the last three election cycles. “Judges should get out of the business of drawing maps,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We firmly believe that the maps Texas used in the last three election cycles are lawful, and we will aggressively defend the maps on all fronts.” In today’s filing, Texas also seeks a stay of the lower court’s ruling pending the Supreme Court’s review of the case. The motion advises that Governor Abbott respectfully declines the court’s invitation at this time to ask the Legislature to take up redistricting, reserving his constitutional power to convene the Legislature if the Supreme Court ultimately determines the state’s maps violate the law.   View Defendant’s opposition motion to stay order on Plan C235 pending appeal of that order or a final judgment here: http://bit.ly/2whTopu View the notice of appeal here:...

Read More

East Texas Montessori Prep Academy Opens Its Doors to the Public

East Texas Montessori Prep Academy will be ready to open its doors to the Longview Community on Monday, August 21 at 4 p.m. The building is a large 149,581 square feet, making it the largest Montessori campus in the U.S. The campus has an anticipated enrollment of 1,100 area students. Dr. Jacqueline Burnett will be giving tours of the facility to the public. Before the tours, LISD Superintendent, Dr. James Wilcox will welcome all guests and Dr. Andy Mack will discuss the impact the campus will have on Longview and surrounding areas. Longview ISD uses Montessori education for Head Start, pre-K and kindergarten students districtwide except at Hudson PEP and Johnston-McQueen elementary schools. The Montessori program allows children to work and learn at their own pace and encourages individualized instruction. The Pre-K/Kindergarten Montessori campus, is located near the corner of U.S. 259 and U.S....

Read More

Homeless in Longview

by Joycelyne Fadojutimi Homelessness is an ongoing problem in our country and in our city Longview, Texas. A recent 2016 report from Social Solutions, a data tracking organization indicates there are 564,708 homeless people in United States. They were living and sleeping in cars, on streets, homeless shelters and in subsidized transitional housing during a one-night nationwide survey last January. These shocking statistics are supported by others just as distressing. Of that total number 206,286 were in families, 358,422 were solitary, and a full quarter of the number are children. The stats go on, but remain tragic. There are...

Read More